Court documents reveal more details about shooting that led to the death of 17-year-old William Garrett Sands

Court documents are revealing more details after a 17-year-old died from a gunshot wound in an Idle Creek neighborhood home.

Posted: Mar 29, 2018 5:09 PM
Updated: Mar 29, 2018 5:36 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Court documents are revealing more details after a 17-year-old died from a gunshot wound in an Idle Creek neighborhood home.

The alleged shooter was 19-year-old Nathan Derickson.

It happened during the early morning hours on Wednesday at a house on Golf Bag Lane in Terre Haute.

At around 1:30 Wednesday morning police received a call about a person shot in the head.

Police say when they arrived at the house they found several beer cans laying around the home along with noticing the smell of marijuana.

That is when police say they made contact with a female that was in this home.

While police talked with her, emergency crews were performing CPR on the 17-year-old William Garett Sands.

Court documents revealed there were also two other males in the home, one of those two was Derickson.

Over the course of questioning the group, police learned Derickson lived in the home, and his parents were on vacation in Florida.

Police say when they asked Derickson what happened, he told them they were in the basement throwing darts and drinking.

He said that he saw the Sands pick up a handgun from behind the bar and attempt to unload the weapon. Derickson told police he started removing darts from the board when he heard a gunshot, resulting in Sands being shot in the head.

That is when Derickson called 9-1-1.

The other male in the home said he ran next door to get help, but couldn't get anyone to wake up.

That is when the female said she tried to perform CPR, but couldn't because of the amount of blood.

When police asked the unnamed male what happened, he told police he was going to get sick and needed a minute, asking if he could go outside.

When police tried to get him to come back inside, he told them he didn't want to get in trouble but wanted to be honest about what happened.

Court documents say he told police the group had been playing with the gun all night, unloading and reloading it, saying someone said: "this felt cool, it's just like the video games."

He went on to tell police everyone playing with the gun made him feel uncomfortable, telling police he took the weapon and attempted to unload it...thinking it was fully unloaded.

He then said Derickson grabbed the gun, pointed it at Sands, and pulled the trigger.

He said the first time the gun did not fire, but when he pulled the trigger again, it did fire, shooting Sands.

That was when police separated the group into different patrol cars.

While in the patrol car, he told police after Sands was shot, Derickson looked around the room and said: "He shot himself, right?" Implying Derickson wanted the group to lie about what happened.

That is when police took Derickson to the sheriff's office for further questioning.

Over the course of questioning, police say Derickson eventually changed his story saying he got the gun out of his mom's nightstand.

He told police he thought the gun was unloaded when he pointed it at the bar and began pulling the trigger.

He said Sands stood up from behind the bar as the gun fired, leading to him getting shot.

He said they tried to perform CPR and first aid on Sands saying "he didn't mean to kill nobody."

That is when police arrested Derickson and charged him with reckless homicide.

During a court hearing on Thursday, a judge said he would allow Derickson to post a $5,000 bond on the condition he is placed on in-home detention, as well as submit to random drug and alcohol screens.

He is back in court on Wednesday, where he will be formally charged.

Prosecutors say they are leaning towards charging him with reckless homicide, a level five felony.

That charge carries a one to six-year prison sentence.

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